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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 14, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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on the broadcast tonight, the next front. now they're protesting in iran, where authorities cracking down threaten demonstrators will become corpses. tonight the latest from our bureau chief there. the new normal in egypt tonight, as their people get used to their new country. and about mubarak and his fortune? we'll show you how close our reporter got to him today. the recovery of congresswoman gabby giffords. tonight in our exclusive interview with her husband, the astronaut mark kelly, the extraordinary things he told us about how far she's now come. and the wedding party revealed. william and kate go public with who they want by their side on their big day. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. it's tempting to say that after what just happened in egypt, iran is next. while it's hardly that simple. there were fresh protests there today, and there's been another violent government crackdown. video posted today on the internet via social media shows the various confrontations. the map of countries where there's been unrest going on in the region certainly seems to show something of a wave. and after the last citizens' uprising in iran was put down months ago, this time authorities aren't having any of it, at least early on. even after protests broke out in several different cities across iran. demonstrators shouted "death to the dictator" and were met with tear gas and worse. internet use and media coverage from iran have been severely restricted. tonight, however, we have a report from tehran from our nbc
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news bureau chief there, ali arouzi. >> reporter: good evening, brian. tens of thousands of iranians took to the street in a rally that was meant to show solidarity towards egypt and tunisia but quickly turned into an anti-government protest. the streets of tehran and other major cities swelled with protesters despite harsh warnings by the government, a ban on the rally and leaders of opposition being under house arrest. the rally started relatively quietly, but then chants of anti-government slogans could be heard throughout the city. it didn't take long before the rally turned violent. anti-riot police tried to disperse the crowds but the crowds wouldn't go away. as evening fell, the crowds tried to make their way to freedom square and tried to emulate the sit-in at tahrir square, but were beaten back by the militia. crowds here were clearly energized by events in egypt and
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came out into the street despite severe consequences to themselves. back to you. >> all right, ali, thanks. we're fortunate to have the reporting tonight of our tehran bureau chief for nbc news. meanwhile in egypt tonight, just three days after the people's revolution that brought down the entire mubarak regime, things have returned to normal at the central gathering spot of that nation's revolution, tahrir square. it's now returned to being a traffic circle. but not much else in egypt is the way it used to be. egyptians are now trying out their new voice. our own richard engel reporting for us again tonight from a very different city of cairo. richard, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. so much has changed here since friday. the celebrations are over. the army is now firmly in control. but it has not been an easy transition for those who are part of mubarak's regime. there were more demonstrations in cairo today, but this time by
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the men who lost the revolution. the police marched to apologize. we never joined the police to point our guns at the people, this officer said. it was police that cracked down on the pro-democracy protesters. with tear gas and clubs. today the police begged for forgiveness. we were just following orders, they said. but they have a lot to answer for. a woman approached the policemen today to find her son, arrested years ago and still missing. 11 years and i haven't seen him, she said. they had no answer for her today. after celebrating all weekend, egyptians are testing their new rights. bus drivers are protesting for better pay and health benefits. so are bank employees, and even musicians. the egyptian military today called on the people to stop taking the law in their own hands and to return to work.
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the army has also now cleared tahrir square. last week hundreds of thousands gathered in the square and shut down the city. today, tahrir square looked like this, the center of cairo back in motion. tahrir square has been transformed so many times during this revolt. first it was a protest site, then a battleground, and finally the scene of an incredible celebration. now, it's back to what it always was, a traffic circle in the middle of cairo, open, functioning, as this city and country try to move on. the profound changes here are still sinking in for protest leaders, like one of the founders of this revolution. we met the single mother and english teacher two weeks ago. she was barely sleeping, arranging demonstrations by cell phone. >> hi. >> how are you? >> reporter: today we visited her again. >> so? >> at last, at last. >> reporter: after our story, her office was raided.
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the secret police threatened her and offered her money to stop the protests. >> they beat an old lady in the head with a stick and they said they have orders to shoot if we don't obey them. >> reporter: now she is hearing from protesters in algeria and iran asking for help, as many in the middle east want to duplicate egypt's extraordinary people's revolution. egyptians remain confident that the military here will eventually transition to democracy, and they also know that so many around the region are looking here for inspiration. brian. >> all right, richard engel in cairo for us again tonight. richard, thanks. now to these new questions surrounding former president mubarak. this morning on "today" egypt's ambassador to the u.s. could not confirm reports that mubarak may have suffered a stroke, but he did say the former president may be in, quote, bad health. mubarak tonight is hunkered down with his family in his resort home in sharm el-sheikh, egypt, but there are questions
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surfacing tonight about his money. lots of questions and lots of money. getting close to him is difficult, but our veteran in the region, nbc's martin fletcher, has managed it. he's in sharm el-sheikh for us tonight. >> reporter: brian, this is as close as you're allowed to ex-president hosni mubarak's refuge, a roadblock, pictures strictly forbidden. if you do get past, this is what you see. on the other side of the high wall is a private compound. this is where mubarak is being heavily guarded since the day he resigned, according to the prime minister. in fact mubarak is only about 200 yards away from where i'm sitting in my hotel room here in sharm el-sheikh. his compound is just across the road. security is intense, photography totally banned. that's why we're doing this filming in my hotel room. we have guards outside our doors 24 hours a day. they follow us everywhere we go. in fact when i went for a walk at 7:00 in the morning, security guards stopped me, searched me looking for a camera.
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there are armed guards by the water, police with dogs, all access roads here are blocked. mubarak is under serious pressure. the people want his money. u.s. officials estimate mubarak and his family made off with around $3 billion. they're said to own so much of sharm el-sheikh, locals call it mubarakland. and there's real estate reportedly in madrid, paris, dubai, washington and new york. in switzerland the government has ordered all swiss banks to find and freeze his assets. pressure is on the british government to do the same. there are calls here in egypt to put mubarak on trial and also calls to leave him alone, to treat him with respect. either way, mubarak is in hiding, about 200 yards away from where i sit. brian. >> martin fletcher in sharm el-sheikh, egypt, for us tonight. martin, thanks. in this country, congresswoman gabby giffords continues her remarkable recovery just over a month after a grievous gunshot wound to the head. we know this, thanks to an
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exclusive interview with her husband, the shuttle astronaut, mark kelly. giffords, now in houston at a rehab facility, is talking again, reportedly even singing a few words, a part of her daily speech therapy. >> we do communicate. i talk to her in the morning when i'm there and i talk to her in the evening. you ask her a question and she'll answer it. so, i mean, the communication is getting better every single day. >> so actual if not complete sentences, chains of words, enough so that you are having what you would define as a conversation? >> yes. i mean she can -- i can ask her questions. she can answer them. and, you know, the communication is coming back very quickly. >> this is stunning news that you two are having what have to be called conversations. and by no means do i want to pry into your relationship, but give me an example of a sentence. >> she'll put together some
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small sentences with regards to, you know, dinner or just, you know, kind of daily living. the speech therapist was saying to me that a few days ago she was having to get gabby to speak some more. now she's trying to get her to slow down. make sure she hears the question first before giving the answer. as an example of that, you know, there were three cards laying on the table, one with a picture of president george bush, president barack obama, president george washington. and before she was asked a question, she picked up the card and said -- held it up and said george bush. so, you know, she's a hard worker and she's trying and she's speaking a lot and at some level they're even asking her to slow down a little bit. >> that's been an extraordinary recovery. all the brain experts, brain injury experts say that no two are alike. they have been compared to snowflakes in their uniqueness. there was no road map for you to follow regarding her recovery. and i guess this is just going to be the pace of her recovery?
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>> that is true. i was on the phone with gabrielle's neurosurgeon, dr. don kim, and he reiterated to me that she is on this lightning fast trajectory, so he's incredibly optimistic about the slope of the curve has a lot to do with how far you're going to get, and she's proceeding very rapidly. >> and i keep hearing, captain, that the congresswoman, your wife's appearance, is resuming to normal. it's coming back so that a glint in her eye that you would recognize, facial expressions, things like that, much easier to detect, which always makes communications easier. >> oh, absolutely. all that stuff is 100%. i mean she is in a great mood. she's always a very upbeat and positive person. but it's, you know, humbling. it's been eye-opening for me. >> you say she's discussed food, which is alarming given the fact that she's in the hospital. any cravings?
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and have you snuck food in to her, into the facility? >> well, we don't have to sneak it in. they're okay with us bringing it there. i brought her some mediterranean food the other day from a restaurant that she likes, and she was, you know, happy to see that i got her the same thing that she always orders. we had a nice dinner together and she really, really enjoyed it. >> and you have become an expert at counting your blessings, i presume? >> i have been. also an expert at appreciating other people, how much they're praying for her, how much they care about her, and just the incredible support that we're getting. >> and i presume your message to fellow members of congress is before they know it, they'll be welcoming her do the main aisle of the house of representatives again? >> i think so. i am looking forward to seeing that day. >> captain mark kelly. he says he expects his wife will be there for the launch of the shuttle "endeavour" scheduled right now for mid-april. the complete interview, by the way, with mark kelly posted on
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our website tonight. that's nightly.msnbc.com. we'll take a break here. when we come back, how will it hit home where you live? president obama unveils some budget cuts that have surprised even some members of his team. and later, news from england. the royal couple have chosen their teams to be at their side for their big day. r
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president obama unveiled his budget proposal for the coming year, and at a time when a lot of americans are struggling economically and many are worried about this nation's massive national debt, this budget hasn't seemed to satisfy anybody. there are cuts in it that surprise even obama loyalists, and yet as a whole it's not near enough for most republicans. our white house correspondent, savannah guthrie, inside the briefing room in the west wing. savannah, good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you, brian. there's a phrase the budget aides like to use.
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we're taking a scalpel to this budget, not an ax. loosely translated it mean the president is proposing cuts, but also spending in key areas he says will keep this country competitive. arriving this morning on capitol hill, the president's 2012 budget. a bright blue book full of red ink. in baltimore today, the push for more spending on education, the president said his budget also makes tough cuts. >> so what we've done here is make a down payment. but there's going to be more work that needs to be done and it's going to require democrats and republicans coming together to make it happen. >> reporter: the $3.7 trillion budget has deficits hovering well above $1 trillion through 2012 but lays out a path to cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. some 200 federal programs would be eliminated or see funding slashed, including low income heating assistance, community development block grants and federal funding to big airports.
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the biggest cut, $78 billion, out of the pentagon over five years. >> i've worked on seven budgets that presidents have sent to congress. this has the toughest cuts that i have ever worked on. they're very significant. >> reporter: some progressives are dismayed to see favorite programs like teach for america facing dramatic cuts. >> unless we're in the president's budget, we'll be zeroed out, so we are barreling toward being zeroed out. >> reporter: the president is also proposing raising taxes to attack the deficit, lowering how much wealthy taxpayers can write off in itemized deductions, like home mortgage interest, and permanently rolling back the lower bush tax rates for top earners. today republicans admitting they don't have their own budget ready to offer ripped the president for his. >> and so when you see our leader, the president of the united states, seeing this, knowing it, acknowledging it and ducking it, that is why we're so disappointed today. >> reporter: yet neither republicans nor the president have offered a plan to deal with
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the biggest part of the budget, mandatory spending for social security, medicaid and medicare. >> in washington, we've got kind of a political stalemate with two parties not being willing to compromise and not being really to talk honestly about the kinds of changes that are in our future. >> reporter: well, this is far from over. the president's budget, brian, really an opening bid. the republicans offer theirs in april. >> savannah guthrie at the white house for us tonight. savannah, thanks as always. up next here this evening, some old dogs, some new dogs, some underdogs. must mean the grammys are history for another year.
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while it's still hard for some of us to believe that the 747 has now been around for 40 years, it's about to get even bigger. boeing has unveiled the new even larger 747. the aircraft, by the way, for
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which the term "jumbo jet" was coined, in part to counter the new giant double-decker airbus from europe, boeing has extended its second floor bubble. this new 747-8 intercontinental is now the longest airliner in the world. they already have preorders for 107 jet liners. the first of them could be airborne by next fall. american olympic skiing star lindsey vonn dropped out of competition today in the alpine skiing world championships in germany. here's what happened. on february 2nd she suffered a concussion in a training accident. she's still feeling the effects. she says she needs to focus on getting back to 100% and winning her fourth world cup title over the course of the season. despite her lingering injury, however, just yesterday lindsey vonn took silver in the downhill competition. there were plenty of upsets at last night's grammy awards. justin bieber went home disappointed, so did lady gaga, but the new artist, esperanza spalding, was richly rewarded as
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was lady antebellum. arcade fire won top honors of the night. eminem and rihanna brought the house down as did some veterans of the trade, including jagger and bob dylan. the great jazz pianist george shearing has died. shearing, who was born blind, son of a british coal miner, composed 300 songs and headed a famous quintet bearing his name. he worked with the greats, including frank sinatra, peggy lee. his best composition of all time, "lullabye of birdland" written in 1952. george shearing died of congestive heart failure. he was 91 years old. we also learned today bob cook has died. we got to know bob in those pre-super bowl visa commercials. he was a member of the "never missed a super bowl" club.
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bob had attended all 44 super bowls until this one. he was too weak to go see his beloved green bay packers play and he had to watch their great victory from his hospital room. he died surrounded by his family. bob cook was 79 years old. when we come back here tonight, valentine's day details about this year's fairy tale wedding.
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finally tonight, with just over two months to go until the royal wedding, the world will be watching prince william and kate middleton have revealed who will join their wedding party. it's big news because it's a family first. nbc's peter alexander has details from london. >> reporter: think of it as a royal version of "will and kate plus 8." that's how many people will fill the wedding party this april. the formal announcement made on the monarchy's facebook page. not surprisingly, prince william has asked his brother, prince harry, to be his best man, which puts harry, never afraid of evening out, in charge of the bachelor party. >> i think it's going to be impossible to keep this private and it's going to be all over the tabloids. >> reporter: kate's maid of honor will be her younger sister, pippa. her primary responsibility to make sure kate's dress is properly displaced.
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that could be a challenge. remember, princess diana's train was 25 feet long. india hicks on the right was 13 when she was a bridesmaid for diana 30 years ago. she still has the dress and the memories. >> inside of course everybody is behaving very regally and quietly. outside it was like football hooligans but the best possible football hooligans because they were happy and joyful and screaming with excitement, and you could hear it echoing in through the cathedral. >> reporter: among kate's bridesmaids, prince edward's daughter, lady louise, who will be just 7. the queen's youngest granddaughter. while some details are trickling out, there is plenty of royal intrigue. no palace interviews, not a word about what the bridesmaids will be wearing, and despite endless speculation in the british tabloids, nothing about who's designing kate's dress. but one thing is certain, even with an estimated tv audience of more than two billion people watching, the world's most anticipated wedding will still
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be a family affair. peter alexander, nbc news, london. and the coverage is just getting started. that's our broadcast for this monday night. thank you for being here with us as we begin a new week together. i'm brian williams. we hope, of course, to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.m co putting criminals back on the street. bay area sheriff's lash out at the governor's big budget cuts with a warning about your safety. good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm diane in for jessica. >> and one of the oldest phrase in the book, if you do the crime be prepared to do the ti

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